Is anyone visiting my web site?

Written by Fernando Maciá

Is your web site performing as you expected? Do you know who visits your site and how often? What isrepparttar nature of their visits? Where do your visitors come from? What other web sites or search engines are referring visitors to your site? What web pages interest your visitorsrepparttar 105923 most and which ones attract less attention? As a teaching consultant of On-line Marketing courses, I frequently formulate similar questions to audiences that generally include sales directors and marketing executives from medium and large size companies. My listeners are always amazed when they realize that even though their companies are investing large sums of money to conduct market studies or purchase marketing results (e.g. Nielsen) to learn about their client’s preferences, they are not taking advantage of analyzing and interpretingrepparttar 105924 data from their own web traffic statistics. The differences betweenrepparttar 105925 two primary sets of web traffic statistics –server activity analysis and real-time statistics via script controls and cookies- have already been covered in a former write-up (see “What is behind all those web traffic reports”, 9/2/03). This article will now focus on those pieces of information, contained in a web traffic report, that are of most interest from a Marketing perspective. After learning where to look and how to interpretrepparttar 105926 data, one will feel more encouraged to embark inrepparttar 105927 apparently arduous task of interpreting web traffic statistics. Our prize atrepparttar 105928 end will be a significant increase in web site performance, greater traffic, better search engine positioning and a deeper understanding ofrepparttar 105929 expectations and interests of our web visitors. All this combined can translate into additional sales, more registered users and a larger amount of frequent users. Let’s explore what we need to consider first. Web Traffic Hits, visited pages, number of sessions… Rather than being overly concerned withrepparttar 105930 absolute values of these statistics that, incidentally, may vary dramatically based onrepparttar 105931 type of software being used to measurerepparttar 105932 web traffic, we should pay attention torepparttar 105933 evolution of these values over time while maintainingrepparttar 105934 measuring softwarerepparttar 105935 same. One can click on a weekly or, better yet, monthly view report andrepparttar 105936 graph will quickly show whether our traffic is increasing or decreasing, and a simple mathematical computation (perhapsrepparttar 105937 tool automatically provides it) of dividingrepparttar 105938 number of visited pages byrepparttar 105939 total number of visitors will tell us how many pages a visitor views on average. Whether our traffic increases, decreases, or remains stable, it will be interesting and valuable to see when a particular trend changes and analyze ifrepparttar 105940 change is caused by a previously planned action, such asrepparttar 105941 launch of an on-line publicity campaign,repparttar 105942 agreement to exchange web links with other sites, orrepparttar 105943 start of search engine positioning services. Visitors In this section, it is important to distinguish between unique visitors and repeating visitors. If one of your goals is to sell a service or product on-line, a high degree of repetition from your visitors will likely indicate a high level of customer commitment to your service or product. However, one must exercise caution when evaluatingrepparttar 105944 number of unique versus repeating visitors. If your tool, for instance, usesrepparttar 105945 visitor’s IP address to determine whetherrepparttar 105946 visitor is unique or not,repparttar 105947 tool will at times count multiple visits fromrepparttar 105948 same user as unique. This can happen when a visitor uses a dial-up modem to accessrepparttar 105949 Internet, since each call will likely get a different IP address assigned. Conversely, if a group of users is accessingrepparttar 105950 Internet behind a router or proxy, they will all sharerepparttar 105951 same IP address andrepparttar 105952 tool will count them as a single repeating visitor. If cookies, onrepparttar 105953 other hand, are used to determinerepparttar 105954 uniqueness of a visitor,repparttar 105955 data collected will be much more reliable.

Other useful information typically associated with visitors is their country of origin and their language, which may prove useful when considering international opportunities orrepparttar 105956 value of creating a version of your web site in another language.

Visited Pages Determine which pages are visitedrepparttar 105957 most besides your default page, which tends to registerrepparttar 105958 largest number of visits since it isrepparttar 105959 typical point of entry to your web site. Identify those areas of most interest to your visitors. By analyzingrepparttar 105960 most common navigational routes, discover how far your visitors click. Ifrepparttar 105961 report, for example, reflects a large number of visits to your home page and classifies them as unique page visits, it could mean one of two things. Your site is experiencing low quality traffic, with visitors not interested in your products or services and therefore not going beyond your home page, or you may want to consider redesigningrepparttar 105962 home page, since apparently is not generating enough interest among your visitors and thus, they are not navigating deeper into your web site.

The report will also identifyrepparttar 105963 most common exit point out of a visitor’s session. Once this exit page has been identified, its design can be reinforced to include new points of interest with links to other sections of your web site. Sessions and visit duration This value tries to measurerepparttar 105964 amount of time that a given user spends navigating a web site. One must be careful, though, when considering this piece of information, since a visitor could inadvertently leave a window, and therefore a session, open and minimized. This would be measured as an active session, even thoughrepparttar 105965 user was not actively navigating throughrepparttar 105966 web site. In any case, a large number of very short visits could indicate an erroneous positioning of a web site. In other words,repparttar 105967 web site is attracting visitors who cannot find what they were expecting. Referrals and search engines One ofrepparttar 105968 most valuable pieces of information that can be obtained from a web traffic statistical report isrepparttar 105969 origin ofrepparttar 105970 visits. In other words, it is extremely helpful to knowrepparttar 105971 web site that visitors were navigating prior to reaching ours. We will be able to distinguish between users who clicked on a link at another web site in order to reach ours from visitors who clicked on one ofrepparttar 105972 search results returned by a search engine. In this latter case,repparttar 105973 report will also identifyrepparttar 105974 keywords that were used to launchrepparttar 105975 query.

Getting your Visitor's Details Using PHP

Written by Vinu Thomas

You can get quite a bit of information about your visitors without having to use a third party tracking software. I'll outlinerepparttar PHP commands you can use to capture some of this data. The details you capture can be saved into a database, and retrieved later to check your site's performance and user details. The following information is captured usingrepparttar 105922 server variable ($_SERVER) which is available from PHP 4.10 onwards.

Visitor's IP address :

You can getrepparttar 105923 visitor's IP address usingrepparttar 105924 following command:

<? $ip = $_SERVER['HTTP_CLIENT_IP']; ?>

This will give yourepparttar 105925 vistor's IP address. You can use this along with an ip to country converter database to see from which country your visitors are come in from. You can head over to for one such script.

You can use PHP to resolverepparttar 105926 ip address to a domain name to getrepparttar 105927 visitor's ISP in most cases. The ISP's domain will show up if PHP is able to resolverepparttar 105928 IP to a proper domain. You can do this as follows.



$visitor_host = @getHostByAddr( $ip );


Note : On some servers, using getHostByAddr to resolve domains may causerepparttar 105929 script to slow down.

Referring Page :

You can capturerepparttar 105930 referring page, which will give you an indication of which site is sending traffic to you.

<? $referrer_page = $_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER']; ?>

This will give yourepparttar 105931 entire URL from whichrepparttar 105932 visitor came to your site. For example ifrepparttar 105933 visitor came from a google search for "i-pod",repparttar 105934 referrer url would look something like this :

If you don't wantrepparttar 105935 entire URL captured, but justrepparttar 105936 domain name stored intorepparttar 105937 database, you can striprepparttar 105938 rest ofrepparttar 105939 URL and save it torepparttar 105940 database like so:


Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use